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2012 All-Star Weekend: Faulk Represents Hurricanes

by Michael Smith / Carolina Hurricanes

Michael Smith
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Rookie defenseman Justin Faulk represents the Carolina Hurricanes at All-Star Weekend in Ottawa. One of 12 rookies chosen, Faulk will participate in the Skills Competition on Saturday night.

Beginning Thursday and continuing through Sunday, we’ll be tracking Faulk. Check back here regularly for new posts, which will include news, tweets, videos, pictures and more. You can also follow @nhl_canes, @JustinFaulk27 and @KyleHanlin on Twitter for additional updates throughout the weekend. Finally, we invite you to join the discussion at the bottom of this blog in our comments section.

Faulk Hits 95.9 mph
Saturday, 01.28.2012 / 9:30 p.m.

Justin Faulk’s number was called first in the Hardest Shot Competition, and he didn’t disappoint. The rookie’s slap shot clocked in at 95.9 mph.

Faulk’s shot is now officially 12.9 mph behind the record, set twice tonight by fourt-time reigning champion Zdeno Chara. Chara’s first blast of 106.2 mph broke his own record of 105.9 mph last year. His second shot brought the house down at an astonishing 108.8 mph. Shea Weber, Chara’s most direct competition, notched a shot at a still impressive 106 mph.

Even Faulk was quite impressed with Chara and Weber:

Faulk’s 95.9 mph shot is still nothing to scoff at. It would be interesting to see if that’s the hardest shot on the team. We might have to ask around the locker room to see if anyone thinks they can top that number.

Video of the entire hardest shot contest can be found below; Faulk is the first shooter. Keep checking back here for updates as more content trickles in.

Skills Competition Underway
Saturday, 01.28.2012 / 7:30 p.m.

Introductions for the Skills Competition just wrapped up. Justin Faulk was introduced with the five other rookies on Team Alfredsson. Faulk tweeted a few times after warm-ups.

I’ll be on Twitter during tonight’s events, so feel free to join me there. We’ll be back with more on tonight in just a couple of hours.

Faulk at Fan Fair
Saturday, 01.28.2012 / 3:30 p.m.

Justin Faulk has spent the day at Scotiabank NHL Fan Fair, and he’s sent along a couple of tweets with pictures to share his experience. Hurricanes Manager of Media Relations and Broadcast Coordinator Kyle Hanlin has also shared a behind-the-scenes meeting Faulk had with a couple of Canes fans in Ottawa.

We’re about three and a half hours away from the start of the Skills Competition. Hope everyone is ready!

Skills Competition is Tonight
Saturday, 01.28.2012 / 11:30 a.m.

The highlight of All-Star Weekend for Hurricanes fans will be tonight in the Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Skills Competition, as Justin Faulk participates in the Blackberry NHL Hardest Shot event.

The Skills Competition will begin at 7 p.m. tonight. You can find it on NBC Sports Network (formerly Versus). NHL Network will also be providing a sizable, three-hour pre-show beginning at 4 p.m. Following the Skills Compeition, they’ll also carry an hour-long post-show.

As mentioned in our blog post below, we’ll have a social media contest to coincide with the Skills Competition tonight. We’ll also have coverage from this running blog beginning right around 7 p.m.

Faulk to Try Hand at Hardest Shot
Friday, 01.27.2012 / 5:30 p.m.

Justin Faulk has been named a participant in the Blackberry NHL Hardest Shot contest in tomorrow’s Skills Competition.

The rookie contributor for Team Alfredsson, Faulk will be joined by All-Stars Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza and Shea Weber. That foursome will try to take down four-time defending champion Zdeno Chara, who broke his own record last year with a slap shot registered at 105.9 mph.

Weber will most likely be the player to give Chara the best run for his money. Twice, Weber has finished second to Chara, including last season when Weber’s shot of 104.8 mph fell shy of Chara’s record-setting marker.

For Faulk, tomorrow night will be a wish come true, as he’ll get his shot to size up his slap shot against the League’s best. We will have more coverage of Faulk and the Skills Competition tomorrow, and we’ll even have a contest on social media to coincide. Until then, is this the year that Chara is de-throned as the hardest shot champion?

Media Day North of the Border
Friday, 01.27.2012 / 10:30 a.m.

Today is media day in Ottawa, as the stage is now set for the Skills Competition and All-Star Game on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Not a lot is going on for fans outside of Ottawa, but we should know what Skills event Justin Faulk will be a part of by the end of the day.

So, let the speculation begin! A forward will most likely get tapped for the Allstate Insurance NHL Breakaway Challenge, the Canadian Tire NHL Accuracy Shooting and the Tim Hortons NHL Elimination Shootout. That leaves the Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater, G Series NHL Skills Challenge Relay and the Blackberry NHL Hardest Shot.

Faulk certainly has wheels, but I have a feeling Team Alfredssson will send a rookie out for the Fastest Skater competition. The easy answer would be to say that Faulk will be chosen for the Skills Challenge Relay, as rookie Jamie McBain did last year. But, I think Faulk has a legitimate shot to be the rookie that will participate in the Hardest Shot. A member of Team Alfredsson, he’ll be going head-to-head with Zdeno Chara, who has won four straight Hardest Shot challenges. Last year, his blast of 105.9 mph broke his previous record of 105.4 he set in 2009.

We’ll keep everyone updated as more information rolls in about tomorrow’s Skills Competiton.

Faulk on Team Alfredsson
Thursday, 01.26.2012 / 9:15 p.m.

Justin Faulk is a member of Team Alfredsson. Faulk joins Sean Couturier, Carl Hagelin, Nick Johnson, Matt Read and Craig Smith as the six-man rookie contingent that joins the hometown All-Star club.

The rookies will be featured in Saturday’s Skills Competition, and the participants for each event will be determined on Friday. One rookie from each team will compete in five of the six events, while the G Series NHL Skills Challenge Relay will feature a pair of rookies from each team.

Faulk has mentioned that he’d like to try his hand at the hardest shot competition. As the lone defenseman on Team Alfredsson, he might be in the running to be the rookie participant in that event. We’ll have more tomorrow when the players are assigned events. For now, in what Skills Competition event would you like to see Faulk participate?

By the Numbers
Thursday, 01.26.2012 / 6:40 p.m.

Hurricanes Manager of Media Relations and Broadcast Coordinator Kyle Hanlin put together this fact sheet about Justin Faulk. Here is a good highlight: since the New Year, Faulk has a plus-6 rating, a stable rebound after a minus-14 rating in his first 24 NHL games. It’s probably no coincidence that Faulk and Jay Harrison have been paired together for the last few weeks and become arguably the top defensive grouping.

Another highlight: Faulk has logged 20 minutes or more in each of his last 32 NHL games, and he leads NHL rookie defenseman in time on ice per game at 22:28. It's an impressive resume for the 19-year-old defenseman. Substitute "18-year-old forward" for the last four words in that sentence, and it all sounds very familiar to last season. That bodes well for the future of the Hurricanes.

We’re just over an hour away from the Fantasy Draft in Ottawa. Schuyler Baehman, the NHL Senior Manager of Communications, tweeted this picture of the venue. Where will you be watching?

Live Streams and Re-Living Last Year's Draft
Thursday, 01.26.2012 / 4:30 p.m.

The folks at will have a few live streams for fans by a computer tonight. From 6-7 p.m. is the NHL Hour with Commissioner Gary Bettman. Bettman will be live at the Scotiabank NHL Fan Fair, and his guest will be All-Star Captain Daniel Alfredsson. The NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft pre-show will stream live from 7-8 p.m., and the post-show will stream from 9:30-11 p.m. Sandwiched in the middle of those two will, of course, be the Fantasy Draft, live on NBC Sports Network (formerly Versus) at 8 p.m.

Until then, relive last year’s Fantasy Draft in another installment of CanesVision’s All-Star Memories. Are there any favorite moments from that event?

All-Star Fantasy Draft is Tonight
Thursday, 01.26.2012 / 10:00 a.m.

For the second year in a row, the two All-Star teams will be decided via a fantasy draft.

Taking a page out of schoolyard pickup games, the fantasy draft was introduced last year in Raleigh. It reenergized the buzz surrounding All-Star Weekend and bucked the trend of the traditional conference split. It also provided for many a storyline and became a fascinating element of the weekend itself.

This year will most likely prove no different. Will Team Alfredsson be loaded up with Ottawa Senators as Team Staal was with Hurricanes last season? Who will be this year’s Phil Kessel and be chosen last? (Considering the season he’s had, it probably won’t be him.)

Captain Daniel Alfredsson and assistant Henrik Lunqvist will be making selections for Team Alfredsson. Captain Zdeno Chara and assistant Joffrey Lupul will be selecting players for Team Chara.

Where does Justin Faulk fit into all of this? The NHL will divide the 12 rookies into two groups of six. At the conclusion of the 15th round of the draft (there are 19 rounds total), one rookie will be selected to choose which team his group will join.

While we don’t know the rosters as of yet, where would you like to see Faulk and five other rookies – Team Chara or Team Alfredsson? Let us know in the comment section below.

The Fantasy Draft will be televised live on NBC Sports Network at 8 p.m.

Faulk Goes to Ottawa
Thursday, 01.26.2012 / 9:30 a.m.

Rookie defenseman Justin Faulk will represent the Carolina Hurricanes at All-Star Weekend in Ottawa. For someone who was a National Champion with the University of Minnesota-Duluth just eight months ago, it’s been a banner year.

As a primer for Faulk’s trip to Ottawa, you can read about his whirlwind ride from last April to the present day here and see a video interview with him here.

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